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Friday, April 23, 2010

Conservative Enthusiasm Surging Compared to Previous Midterms

To reinforce Frank’s point -- in addition to conservatives being more enthusiastic than liberals about voting in this year’s election, their relative advantage on enthusiasm is much greater than we've seen in the recent past.

In a February Gallup poll, 56% of all conservatives vs. 34% of all liberals said they were “more enthusiastic about voting than usual.” (This is Gallup's longer-term question on voter enthusiasm with trends back to 1994.)

The 22 percentage point enthusiasm gap seen this year is significantly wider than what Gallup recorded in the past four midterm elections, including 1994. Further, conservatives' current advantage contrasts with 2006, when Democrats were more enthused.

Naturally, this pattern extends to party ID, with Republicans expressing relatively more enthusiasm than Democrats than at any time since 1994.

Republicans face a difficult hurdle in picking up the 41 seats they need to take majority control of the U.S. House. However, in terms of voter enthusiasm, they appear to be in an even better position than they were in 1994, when they gained more than 50 seats.


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